When you live in a city with a longish winter and seemingly excessive construction in the summer, you almost have to develop a sense of humour, or you might just implode one day. And if that’s the worst of it, we’ve got it pretty damn good.
Perhaps because of that, there are a lot of pretty funny folks here in Edmonton making us pee ourselves laughing, whether it’s at one of the comedy clubs or via a basement podcast or even some potty-mouthed Twitter account. We like to laugh, we like to make others laugh, and we don’t mind poking fun at ourselves from time to time. Most of all, we love stickin’ it to those damn Calgarians! Just kidding...ish.
But, I digress. Some locals might say our comedy legacy dates back to around 1980, when Second City Television (SCTV) relocated from Ontario to Edmonton’s Allarcom-ITV studios, bringing along future legends like Dave Thomas, Rick Moranis, Robin Duke, and Tony Rosato.
It seemed like an eternity since the Oilers had qualified for the playoffs, let alone bring home that ever-elusive Stanley Cup. But, Edmonton is a hockey town and we’ll support our team no matter how much they “suck” at times.
Fortunately, with some new management, a streak of #1 draft picks (namely Connor McDavid!), and a brand new arena on the horizon, the Oilers began to turn things around by the start of the 2015-16 season, a quarter of a century since their last of five Stanley Cup wins.
However, it didn’t last long. In the meantime, if we wanted some good local hockey, many of us turned elsewhere. The Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings made sure we remembered what hockey was all about, and why we were still the “City of Champions,” despite the Oilers’ and the Eskimos’ lengthy losing streaks.
In 2012, our Oil Kings were victors of the WHL Championship, made the finals the following season, and then won it again in 2014. That same year, they d…
My dad would run out into the living room in his pajamas to tell us to turn on the radio to 630 CHED whenever Jerry Forbes was about to come on with his heartwarming Christmas story, And a Creature Was Stirring.
Forbes wrote and narrated the piece himself - complete with sound effects like the crunching of snow under our feet and the bellows of excited young children - about a young man with “shoulder-length hair” and “a shaggy beard” who delivers donated gifts to underprivileged families in Edmonton.
The local radio host was inspired to write the story based on experiences from another one of his cherished projects, Santa’s Anonymous, which would provide donated Christmas toys and games to children who were less fortunate.
“Wouldn’t it be great if there would be no needy kids...and every kid had a present...not a used present...but a brand new present,” Forbes said when a reporter asked him why he started Santa’s Anonymous. “From that modest star…
I’ll admit it, I choked up singing along to “No One Needs to Know” at the 2015 Shania Twain concert at Northlands’ Rexall Place. Judge me all you want, I don’t care! I couldn’t help it, after all...I had some sort of weird gay crush on Shania when she was one of the world’s superstars back in the ‘90s.
I knew all of her songs by heart and I knew everything there was to know about the Canadian icon, and now there I was, singing her lyrics right alongside her to a glowing audience tipsy on expensive booze and the sounds of their high school days.
But that certainly wasn’t the only time I stood in the aisles of Rexall belting out to the songs of one of my favourite singers or bands. Nope, it all stemmed back to when I was 12 years old and went to the Paula Abdul concert with my buddy Peter. Again, judge me all you want, it doesn’t phase me! It was one of the fondest memories I have of growing up.
Since then, I’ve had the chance to see everyone from Jay-Z and Ti…
If you don’t go downtown on a regular basis, there’s a good chance you have no idea what “the Quarters” is. I frequent the downtown, and yet I had no recollection of the City working on such a game-changing project, until years after plans commenced.
When you think about the actual scale of this enterprise, it’s surprising how it has sort of flown under the radar for many, perhaps most Edmontonians. It is 100 acres of urban space on the eastern edge of the downtown that will be transformed over the next 10-20 years into five distinct precincts, all within walking distance of the natural amenities of the river valley.
Between 92nd & 97th Streets and 103A & Jasper Avenues, the area will be converted into the pedestrian-friendly and environmentally-sustainable Quarters, split into the Civic, Five Corners, Heritage, and McCauley Quarters, and then linked by the Armature district.
The City’s plan is to turn this ignored inner-city region - known so long…